Yearly Service Contract Or Not?

Discussion in 'Lawn Care Business Management' started by J&JPropmaint, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. J&JPropmaint

    J&JPropmaint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    I need good advice on Yearly Contracts. I am looking for a way to incorporate services into 1 monthly price.

    I am not licensed to do Fert yet in Michigan. So the contract would be for Mowing, Irrigation Start Up / Shut Down, Spring / Fall Cleanup, Snow Removal.

    Questions:

    1. Will this scare most customers away?
    2. How can I calculate this into Monthly Payments
    3. Binding / Non Binding Contract?
    4. Monthly Charge or Discount for upfront payment for the year or deposit?

    If there is a basic formula, or if you have had good or bad experiences with this please let me know.

    Thanks

    Blade 2 Blade
     
  2. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    We flat rate for 90% of the residential accounts and 100% of the commercial. Its nice to have steady income year round.


    Upon interview or phone call from a new customer I ask a bunch of questions to build the schedule for them and zone in on which services they are in need of.
    In my proposals, I break down price per cut and a schedule of cuts. Leaf clean up is more and so is haul away, and this is listed too. I judge pruning hours per year, and state a fee for that and how often different shrubbery types will be serviced. All of this sounds like a lot, but after you do a few contracts and proposals like this, you will have a wealth of copy and paste forms to use. I use part of my contract form for the proposal, so both proposal and contract look the same, except the contract is another 1-3 pages depending on property type--I can make a proposal and change it into a contract in about 10 minutes this way, generally 7-9 page contracts.

    Just add up every service for the year and divide by 12. Snow Removal may state a price per service and an average number of services with a price per each...this way if you need to do more services you can bill more and less service you can credit their bill to fix the average.

    My contracts have an early exit clause where if they choose to quit service early they will owe the difference in service performed and payment received. I do online billing through email, so it is easy to gather dates and services by searching a name+invoice in the gmail search box.

    You will need to so some good record keeping to accomplish this. What I do is I have string bound log books in every truck and each page is a new day with service details, including time in and out for employees and time for each job, which areas were pruned, weeds seen, and where the crew at lunch, etc.... Come payroll, I total through each page and update the services completed for each customer too. We invoice on the first of each month, so by the last day of the month, I have compiled all dates from all employees and customers and we submit dates and details along with the invoices. If we meet our minimum amount of services, we bill normal, if we do 3 cuts instead of 4 we credit the amount for that single missed service.

    Hop this helps! If you want to see one of my proposal forms, I can email it to you.
     
    thor1911 likes this.
  3. TX Easymoney

    TX Easymoney LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,071

    The above is the way to go....I have the same setup pretty much...except for last paragraph about billing...list all work expected to be perfomed...cuts, shrubs, then divide by 12 and bill at first of month..any extras from previous month are billed at this time...since I predetermine how many cuts/ work to be preformed , I don't have to look each month for what work to bill or subtract

    Contracts allow you to plan and grow your business...also allow you to take vacations.

    I ditched one off clients years ago, they call last minute and ditch you if you can't get there, even after rain...you commit to be there week to week, for a growing season...seems fair to expect a formal agreement to be signed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  4. LawnForceOne

    LawnForceOne LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    Hop this helps! If you want to see one of my proposal forms, I can email it to you.


    I have been considering this for quite some time. Id like to see one of those proposals. You can email it to me at lawnforceone @ gmail. Com. Is it pretty easy to sell this idea to customers especially current ones?
     
  5. J&JPropmaint

    J&JPropmaint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Thank you for the in depth reply. I really think this is the way to go. I would greatly appreciate it if you can send the proposal form to jjpmcs@live.com.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 812

    I emailed both of you that asked for some help.
     
  7. djschofield22

    djschofield22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Could you please send me a copy of the proposal as well? Ifitslandscaping@gmail.com
     
  8. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,920

    For what it's worth, you do not need to be licensed for fertilizing in Michigan. Pesticides of any kind you need a license to use.
     
  9. GOATMAN GEORGE

    GOATMAN GEORGE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 88

    I PMed you my email if you would be so kind to send me that.

    Thank you
     
  10. Blackgnturbo

    Blackgnturbo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 22


    Would you mind sending me a proposal as well? Thanks so much.
    Landscapeguardian@gmail.com
    Posted via Mobile Device
     

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